Receiving Plate, USS San Diego, #2017-008-017
A ceramic receiving plate with gilded molding and a Department of the Navy seal recovered from the WWI-era armored cruiser USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6).
This plate, recovered from USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6), was purely decorative. Its primary function was to hold the calling cards left by those who had visited a senior officer’s quarters. Leaving a calling card was common practice in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Department of the Navy seal on the face of the plate was used from around 1906 to 1939. There are two maker’s marks on the base on the reverse side. The first is a pre-firing stamped impression that reads “SHENANGO CHINA NEW CASTLE, PA.” The second is transparent, likely the remains of an ink stamp, reading “VITRIFIED SHENANGO POTTERY CO. NEW CASTLE, PA. CHAS BROWN & SONS AGENTS S.F. CAL.” The Shenango Pottery Company of New Castle, Pennsylvania, produced pottery under a variety of names beginning in 1902 and continuing at least into the 1960s. Charles Brown & Sons, described in 1909 as a “hardware and crockery firm,” was established in 1857 and for many years had a storefront on Market Street in San Francisco, California.